Into the Wilderness Part 3 – Trial by Fire

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Texas isn’t known for cold weather like I described in the last post! It’s known for the heat! I remember vividly the hottest camping trip I’ve ever been on! It was a summer camp a few years ago; the humidity was high and the temperature was over 100 degrees all week long! It was so hot, when you laid down in your tent at night to go to sleep, you would still have sweat pouring off of you even though you slept on top of your sleeping bag!

We also got assigned a camping spot that was far away from the merit badge classes, so we were always hiking a long and rough trail several times a day. When we weren’t doing that, we would just sit down at camp pouring water over ourselves and trying to stay cool!

For the duration of that camp, everyone was miserable, and there wasn’t much you could do but grin and bear it. As you can well imagine, everyone’s temper was on edge. I believe every other sentence was someone snapping at someone else!

You might consider a camping trip like this to be a complete failure, but it surprisingly wasn’t to me! As Patrol Leader, I considered it my duty to know each of the Patrol members better. An extreme campout like this one brought out the extreme in everyone! I found out what irritated them, what their weaknesses were, and what their strengths were better than I ever had before.

And we didn’t just get to know each other better, we got experience working with each other when everyone was at their worst. There were some really tense moments! There were plenty of clashes and arguments, but in the end, we all found a way to work together in spite of this.

This is another reason why camping is excellent for the Scout Patrol! I was so different from the members of my Patrol, if we would’ve met each other in school or somewhere else, we probably never would’ve been friends. But as it is, some of my closest friends to this day are the ones I made in Scouts. After one week of camping, you get to know someone 100 times better than you would interacting on a casual level.

It is a part of human nature that the closest bonds are forged through the hardest times! But it doesn’t have to end happily! If you don’t care about it, hard situations can break your relationship with the Scouts in your Patrol. It will take a great deal of effort and care on your part, but it is very much worth it!

This is why Scouts choose the wilderness! It allows us to do real things and explore real places; it builds our character and makes us able to handle whatever is thrown at us; and it allows us to build strong bonds with the other Scouts in our Patrol.

So what has been your best camping trip? What made it so good? Leave a comment below or join me on the GreenBar life forum and tell me about it! I’d love to hear it!